PROPERTY FROM THE LARRY & LEAH SUPERSTEIN COLLECTION
Maurice Monda, ‘Revue des ventes de décembre. Lundi 3 décembre, Galeries Georges Petit. La Collection Camille Pissarro’, in Le Figaro artistique, 10th January 1929, p. 221
Ludovic-Rodo Pissarro & Lionello Venturi, Camille Pissarro. Son art – son œuvre, Paris, 1939, vol. I, no. 483, catalogued p. 149; vol. II, no. 483, illustrated pl. 98 (titled Femme et enfant dans les fleurs)
Joachim Pissarro & Claire Durand-Ruel Snollaerts, Pissarro. Catalogue critique des peintures, Paris, 2005, vol. II, no. 591, illustrated in colour p. 401
The present work depicts the artist’s wife Julie nursing their son Ludovic-Rodolphe, who was barely a year old at the time, in the midst of a blossoming garden. Probably painted at their family home in Pontoise, this composition combines the nature with the man-made, reflecting the artist’s belief of the harmony of human beings and nature. Rendered from a distance, Julie is portrayed in a private moment, fully absorbed in her motherly activity, enhancing the intimate atmosphere of the work. Executed in the decade crucial in the development of Impressionism, Julie et Ludovic-Rodolphe Pissarro dans les fleurs displays a rich treatment of the flowers executed in quick dabs of paint in a manner similar to that of Impressionist painters such as Monet and Renoir.
Pissarro’s direct observation of nature and the effects of light on the colourful flower blossoms evoke the vibrant energy of spring, exemplifying the artist’s skill at capturing the interplay of light and shadow. Applying the paint onto the canvas with dappled strokes, he recreates the effect of the sun as it reflects off the white, orange and red flowers and the light clothing of the two figures in the centre. As Christoph Becker explains: ‘There was no season or time of the day that Pissarro did not portray, indeed he would impatiently wait for certain atmospheric changes, so that he could set up his easel in the open air and return to work with palette and brush’ (C. Becker, et al., Camille Pissarro, Ostfidern, 1999, p. 105).
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